Agent: Seahawks place third-round tender on DT Mebane

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks have placed an original-round tender on restricted free agent Brandon Mebane, according to his agent.

Chuck Price said Tuesday the Seahawks placed the tag on their starting defensive tackle, but that both sides are working diligently toward a long-term deal to keep Mebane with the Seahawks even as they bump against the possible expiration of the collective bargaining agreement Thursday night.

"I don't think we'll ramp them up, but everyone would like to have something solid going into an uncertain period," Price said. "But we've agreed to work toward a common goal."

Mebane has been a starter with the Seahawks almost from the time he was drafted in the third round out of California in 2006. The team didn't respond to messages about the designation being placed on Mebane.

Seattle would receive a third-round pick if Mebane signed elsewhere.

That doesn't sound like it will happen. While there remain major unknowns about what a new labor deal might look like, Price said his client is willing to pass up the idea of free agency for the chance at long-term security with the Seahawks.

"For Brandon, it's, 'If my market value is X and I can get it in Seattle, great,'" Price said.

Mebane has started 53 of 59 regular-season games for the Seahawks, missing four last season because of a calf injury. Mebane had a career-high 49 tackles in 2009 and 5.5 sacks in 2008, but he was asked to clog run lanes more than get to the quarterback last year.

Mebane made $1.1 million in base salary last season as part of the original four-year deal he signed coming out of college.

Price said the uncertainty around the CBA has made negotiating difficult but more from the team standpoint than the individual.

"There are a lot of things they are uncertain of," Price said. "It's hard to negotiate long term when you don't know what the CBA will state."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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